Almost 100 people from across the racing community came together on Saturday 8th July to take on the stamina sapping Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in aid of Racing Welfare. The challenge was sponsored by Tote and Tattersalls, and has so far raised in excess of £50,000 for racing’s people.
The intrepid challengers gathered bright and early on Saturday morning ready to tackle the three peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent in under 12 hours and remained steadfastly determined despite a challenging weather forecast.
After completing their first peak, Ingleborough, just a couple of hours after setting off the walkers refuelled at their first checkpoint along the route. When arriving at that checkpoint Alison Storey, who works at York racecourse, said: “I feel invigorated – the adrenaline’s pumping! I was feeling quite nervous at the start, but everyone’s so friendly it’s really keeping me going!”
Camaraderie and team spirit featured highly throughout the day, and there was no greater need than when threatening thunderstorms and lightning strikes forced event partner, Large Outdoors, to advise the group against travelling to the top of the two remaining peaks.
Racehorse owner Rachel Brodie took part in the challenge alongside several members of her family, she said: “After the disappointment of finding out we weren’t going to be able to complete the last two peaks we all rallied again and got going. It was still tough enough.”
“I had lots of good conversations with different people and learnt their backgrounds. Everybody kept each other going. Someone who joined our group was really struggling and it was nice to help him along. He was on a high afterwards because he felt he’d really achieved something so that was great.”
Despite most of the group not completing the final two peaks on safety advice, the walkers still completed a gruelling hike of around 20 miles, covering challenging terrain and more than 3,000ft of ascent in less than favourable weather conditions. A varied group of individuals took part, from racecourse and racing yard employees to members of the media and racehorse owners, with many participants commenting on the positive benefits of connecting with other like-minded individuals during the challenge.
Matthew Robinson works for event sponsor, Tote, and on completing the challenge he said: “I really enjoyed the day and thought it was excellently organised. Although it was disappointing not to climb all three peaks, I still got to spend the day with some amazing people and enjoy the beautiful sites of the Yorkshire Dales and won’t change that for anything.”
Racing Welfare’s chief executive, Dawn Goodfellow, completed the challenge and said: “Despite the initial disappointment of realising that we weren’t going to make it to the top of Whernside and Pen-Y-Ghent, the group showed incredible team spirit and resilience to adapt to the change of plan and keep pressing on. The route was a lot tougher than a lot of us had expected, and even without the final two peaks it remained a gruelling test. We are so grateful to everyone that worked hard to train for this challenge and, importantly, helped us to raise such a brilliant sum to support Racing Welfare’s work.”
Anyone that would like to support Racing Welfare’s Three Peaks Challenge should text PEAKS and their donation amount eg. PEAKS10, PEAKS20, PEAKS30 to donate £10, £20 or £30 respectively. Alternatively, donations can be submitted online here: https://racingwelfare.enthuse.com/pf/team-racing-welfare.